Wednesday, Jan 08 2014 06:00 AM

Gandy Dancers Square Dance Club offers lessons starting on Jan. 15

Many people think about beginning the new year by resolving to make fitness a part of their life, and many have tried before to get in more exercise, only to find that they quickly became bored with stationary equipment at home or the gym.

That's what can happen until they experience an evening of square dance lessons. They soon realize that exercise doesn't have to be a chore.

A dancer who is whirling across the floor to a Beatle's song, or doing do-si-dos to the to the commands of a square dance caller, is getting exercise -- and is probably having fun too.

Square dancing can offer these benefits:

* Calories: Dancing can burn as many calories as walking, swimming or riding a bike -- as many as 200-400 in a half hour.

* Cardiovascular Conditioning: Regular exercise can lead to a slower heart rate, lower blood pressure and improved cholesterol.

* Strong Bones: helping to prevent osteoporosis, falls and fractures.

* Rehabilitation: If you're recovering from heart or orthopedic surgery dancing is a positive adjunct to your physical therapy.

* Sociability... Square Dancing is often thought of as "Friendship set to Music"

Square dancers even live 10 years longer.

A new study shows that square dancing is the perfect exercise. It combines all the positive aspects of intense physical activity with none of the negative elements.

This study was based on physical examinations which indicated that both female and male square dancers could expect to live well into their 90's.

The square dance movements, an aerobic exercise, raises the heart rate. All the quick changes of direction loosen and tone up the muscles, but not so severely as to cause injury. In square dancing, when you're not moving, you're clapping hands or tapping feet, which all contributes to long term fitness.

The Gandy Dancers meet Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8:15 p.m. at the Tehachapi Community Church, 100 East "E" St. A donation of $6 is asked for adults. Teenagers 12-17 years are $3. (Beginning Jan. 15 class registration will be open for three weeks). Caller Rod Shuping will instruct the classes, and members will be there to dance with and assist students.

Couples and singles, between the ages of 12 and 90, are all welcome to give it a try.

For more information call: Linda 821-0493 or Sharon 821-3455.

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